SF Recommendations?

A vacation has been a long time coming- more than a year and a half since our last trip longer than a weekend.  That's why I'm so excited that Hubby and I have booked a trip to San Francisco next month!  Neither of us have ever been so  we're really looking forward to it!! san fran stock photo

Naturally we have a few touristy things planned, like a night-time tour of Alcatraz and a day-trip through several wineries, but I'd love any recommendations that you have for off-the-beaten path places to visit.

I've already checked out:

Design Sponge's "San Francisco City Guide"

Design Sponge's "24 Hours in San Francisco with SFgirlbybay"

Apartment Therapy's "A Design Lover's Guide to San Francisco"


Every time we travel, Hubby and I like to find some quirky, off-beat places, and sometimes will grab a rental bike and just explore.  So for those of you who know the city, I beg you to share your secrets!

Where's the best place to scope out the amazing architecture?

Where are the sweet thrift and/or antique shops I should hit?

Lay all your recommendations on me!

I'm really clueless here but I'm so eager to explore a cool new city!

London Crush

I know you usually come here to see flipping progress, DIY ideas and generally handy stuff, but I'm so ODed on demo and mess and unfinished this week that I just need to look at something pretty and done. I stumbled on this restaurant on pinterest, followed series of dead links, then finally used Google image source to find the original. Take me there please!!!!


Currently undergoing a kitchen renovation, these gorgeous dining room images belong to a restaurant in London called Hally's Parsons Green.  I can't find a single thing that I would change!  If you ask Hubby, that's my highest design compliment.



I can't decide if I like the dipped ice cream parlor chair or the brass light fixtures better.



If that isn't already the coziest, cutest, most welcoming restaurant on the planet, check out this bathroom.   That patterned tile and rustic vanity?  Hello!  The whole place is straight out of my fantasies.  Get out of my head, Hally's!


Now I know my first stop if I ever get to go to London!


All images are straight from Hally's website, so kindly pin from the direct source and let them know how beautiful they are!!

One More About France

I promise next week I'll be back to my norm of DIY, craigslist, and chatting about flip houses.  So if that's what you're here for and only that, come back Monday.  Hopefully I won't be too jet lagged to get a few projects started this weekend.  Until then, however.... France. bordeaux-1

Yeah, it's apparently a pretty cool place, have you heard?  Before this week, I had literally been to France for a day and a half on our last river cruise.  This time it's all France, wine, chateaus and did I mention wine? I've still never been to Paris, but I've got the entire Bordeaux region pretty well covered.  Here's my summary: they grow lots and lots and lots of grapes here and make a surprising variety of wine... and most of it is pretty darn good.  Everywhere you turn there's another field covered in grape vines.  Chances are also good that beyond said field you can find an elaborate chateau or medieval castle.  No big.


We've been lucky enough to do some pretty cool excursions here too.  I have 2 words for you: truffle puppy.


Ok, so she's 4 so not technically a puppy but Farrah (must say with a French accent) is a rock star truffle hunter and pretty darn cute.  Apparently they no longer use pigs to hunt for truffles because the pigs just try and eat the product.  Dogs are the latest in truffle hunting technology and it only takes 4 weeks (!!) to train them when they're young.  It was totally cool to see her in action- sadly I didn't get a non-blurry shot of her showing us where the truffles were, though.  Hubby did snap a pic of me modeling Farrah's latest find.  That's a summer truffle.  Did you know there are summer and winter truffles?  Me neither.


I also went into a tour of the Camus Cognac distillery knowing pretty much zero about cognac and got a pretty good lesson.  I'm normally a wine gal, but I figured, when in Rome... or this case, when in Cognac...


Hubby and I even got to create our own blends, and let me tell you- with using the same 4 types of cognac, we created 2 very very different drinks.  Too bad we need to wait 3-6 months to really enjoy them.  I'm thinking cognac will be a great warm up during that first snow storm, don't you think?  Who want's to come over and be snowed in with us?


The architecture here ain't to shabby either.  Although I'll admit, I've almost reached overload on 17th and 18th century architecture.  Almost, but not quite.  I'm sure if I lived here, I wouldn't appreciate it on a day to day basis, but wow, just wow.


I really love the juxtaposition of the modern urban amenities and historic architecture that you get in cities like Bordeaux.


More rural towns around the region look straight out of a period movie.  If it wasn't for the modern cars parked out front, I'd be looking around for the film crews or the time machine that just transported me.  Picturesque to say the least.



This is the truffle plantation owner's house.  In 2014.  No, this isn't a Disney movie.


This is also someone's home in the present day.  I sh*t you not.  People. live. here.


Since there's really no way I can top living in a castle in this post, I'll call it a day.

Have a great weekend!